I have sampled quite a few chilli containing bars now - Milka, Hotel Chocolat and Montezuma's to name a few. One of the most common requests I have frequently received subsequent to these reviews is for a review of this Lindt Excellence Chilli bar. Given the quality of the rest of the Excellence range it wasn't as if I need much persuasion from Dean-German-Grocery to try this 'fine dark chocolate with chilli extract' offering.
I sampled this chocolate in two 50.0g sittings, this provided me with two more than adequate servings. Lindt refrained from over stating the chilli content on the packaging, the classy style of the Excellence range was maintained with just the simple inclusion of one red chill image ... sometimes I think manufactures go a bit over the top including emblems of fire etc - no such problem here. The chocolate looked no different to any other dark chocolate bar from the Excellence line - it had a nice shiny surface with nicely imprinted logos. As ever the chocolate had a fantastically forthcoming, fresh smell - the aroma was noticeably sweeter than other Lindt dark chocolate offerings.
Much as the smell suggested the cocoa intensiveness was noticeably more subdued. The dark chocolate was of a 49% solids recipe that I thought suited the bar superbly. The texture was sublime, it melted at a nice rate and allowed for good flavour progression. The taste of the dark chocolate was a lot creamier and sweeter than the 70% bar, the aftertaste was significantly shorter, though this was compensated for by the chilli element. The chilli didn't contribute massively to the overall taste until the later stages of its development, upon where spiced, fruity elements left a nice parting set of flavours. The chilli also brought a terrific warming sensation to the feel of the chocolate in the mouth - it was wonderfully balanced and not overdone meaning its presence was roundly welcome. The combination of the chocolate and the chilli made for both a rich and satisfying chocolate.
Overall this was one of the better chilli containing bars I have sampled on Chocolate Mission, and has only bettered by the Hotel Chocolat offering. I did hugely enjoy the 49% cocoa dark chocolate used in this bar, however there was a part of me that was wondering how the highly regarded 85% or 70% Lindt chocolates would have handled the added chilli. Unfortunately it doesn't look like we will be able to gauge that anytime soon, but in the mean time this is still a hugely enjoyable bar of chocolate. For those looking for chocolate with an extra fiery kick, I would recommend this as one of the better, and more affordable options on the market.